Tra’n Aros

You may have stumbled on some ambiguous posts on our Instagram and Twitter accounts this week – which included a rather special drop tonight (Friday, 26/06).

Released under the title Tra’n Aros, the series of photos and film were developed by young artists Lauren Connelly and Hafwen Hibbard as part of our Young Artists Development Programme.

The series is a real-life reflection of young people’s journey over the lockdown period.

Lauren, 18, from Cardiff said: “The validity of our feelings is an important message in Tra’n Aros – lockdown has been overwhelming for us all, filled with anxiety and uncertainty – but it’s OK to feel that!”

“You’re not alone in this,” added Hafwen. “The whole enforced situation was very difficult to process, especially when you’re always trying to keep up with everything that’s going on in the world – but it’s important to remember there is always a friend who is only FaceTime away.”

The pair met in year 7 at Cardiff’s Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Edern and have been friends ever since. Both are set to follow the performing arts path this Autumn, with Hafwen heading to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles and Lauren to Cardiff’s Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.

“We’ve always performed side-by-side,” said Lauren.

“We started devising work in A-levels and since leaving school we have tackled the ‘real world’ together with a view to creating our own work. But this necessary pause in the hustle and bustle of life has given us the time to focus on our artistic direction, and Frân Wen have been incredibly supportive throughout.”

Our Cymanfa FW live-streaming sessions sparked the initial Tra’n Aros hook up.

“Watching it made us realise how important it was for young people to stay creative during strange times – and how it allow us to connect with other young people in a time where everyone has to keep separate,” said Hafwen.

The Tra’n Aros series comes hot on the heels of 120960, last week’s live theatre production by Frân Wen’s Young Company, “this is another proclamation of what it means to be young in Wales today,” said our Artistic Director, Gethin Evams.

“At Fran Wen we support artists through handing over the control, and supporting their unique voice and process – Lauren and Hafwen have a lot to say, I’ve learnt a lot from listening to them and seeing them make their work. I look forward to seeing what they do next!”

Remember our door is always open and the screen is always on, so get in touch to hear more about how we support young people.